Pete Carril, Gerry Matthews and Mark Corino, three of the most accomplished head coaches in New Jersey college basketball history, will be among the first class of inductees to the newly-created New Jersey Basketball Hall of Honor.
The Basketball Reunion, a unique statewide event created to reunite former and current New Jersey high school and college basketball teammates and coaches for a special evening in one setting, holds its inaugural event at Prudential Center in Newark on April 4.
The Basketball Reunion will debut the night of this year’s men’s NCAA men’s championship game with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail hour, followed by dinner and the Hall of Honor induction ceremonies. This charity event will culminate with a watch party for the NCAA championship game at Prudential Center.
Previously, the men’s Final Four teams from Princeton (1964-65), Rutgers (1976-77) and Seton Hall (1988-89) were announced as inductees into the first class of the Hall of Honor that night, according to information provided by Tom Luicci.
Carril, whose “Princeton offense” is still in vogue, compiled a 514-261 record in 29 years as head coach of the Ivy League school. He led the Tigers to 13 Ivy League titles and 11 NCAA Tournament appearances from 1967-96, according to the statement. Carril was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Corino, currently in his 34th year as the head coach at Caldwell University, became the all-time winningest men’s coach in the state of New Jersey, earning his 604th career win against Holy Family University this season, according to the statement. Additionally, in 2018, Corino joined a distinguished group of coaches as he coached his 1,000th game. He also guided the Caldwell Cougars to two NCAA Division II Tournaments.
Matthews went 603-243 during his 30 season at Stockton University, and had been the winningest men’s college coach in state history before being passed by Corino, according to the statement. He led Stockton to 16 Division 3 NCAA Tournament appearances and two Final Fours from 1985 until his retirement in 2016. Matthews also went 228-98 as the head coach for a combined 13 seasons at Long Branch High School and Rumson-Fair Haven High School, winning two state championships during that time.
Former men’s and women’s players and coaches from New Jersey’s high school and college ranks are invited to attend, as are fans of those teams and players, with an emphasis on re-connecting teams for an evening of food and beverage, reliving the glory days, and making new memories. The goal of the event is to tap into the rich tradition and history of New Jersey basketball.
General admission cost for this charity event starts at $100 in advance ($125 the night of the event), with VIP tables on the floor and other sponsorship packages also available. Net proceeds will be going to the Team Hill Foundation, whose mission is to assist at-risk youth through their interest in athletics and to provide programming that encourages leadership, social interaction, and teamwork skills. Information regarding the Team Hill Foundation and its mission can be found at www.teamhillfoundation.org.
Nominations for future Hall of Honor candidates, which will eventually feature the state’s most prominent players and coaches at every level, as well as teams from the high school and college ranks, can be made by visiting thebasketballreunion.com.